I have a tendency to always cook too much food and there are leftovers, but I enjoy transforming cooked ingredients into something different. You could say that I am being frugal.
This time I had some cooked mussels in their shells in some of their broth and I thought that I would use these ingredients to make a soup by adding red tomatoes; I also added a lot of basil and some grated zucchini and the results were a thick, fragrant and highly flavoured soup.
This made a soup for 4 people.
If you do not have ready cooked mussels, this is what you can do:
Stage1: The mussels
Clean the mussels in their shells (about 500gm; remove beards, wash or scrub the mussels under running water.
In a saucepan, heat two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and add 2 spring onions chopped finely; sauté for 1 minute. Add mussels in their shells, 2 tablespoon chopped parsley and about ¾ cup of white wine. Cover, cook on high heat and bring to a boil. Toss them around now and again until the shells open.
Once cool keep the juice (this is the broth) and remove the mussel meat from the shells. Keep a few in their shell for decoration.
Stage 2: The soup
Mussels and their broth, see above,
ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped, 800g
2 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
fresh basil leaves, some to cook with and some to add at the end
2 zucchini, grated
1 spring onion
black pepper or fresh chill (sliced thinly)
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, salt to taste (mussel broth could be salty)
Place the tomatoes in a saucepan add garlic, some of the oil and some basil. Leave uncovered and cook on low-medium heat until thickened (about 15 mins). This results into a tomato salsa which could also be used for dressing pasta.
In a pan that is large enough to take all of the ingredients, heat the rest of the olive oil, add spring onion and zucchini and cook until soft, stirring often.
Add the mussel meat, their broth and more water if necessary and simmer for another 5 minutes until heated through. Add fresh basil and serve.